Will Cain derailed a CNN segment Thursday afternoon with an impassioned rant against the cheapness of “hashtag activism” and TV-based “outrage” peddling.
The segment was intended to focus on Monica Lewinsky‘s return to the spotlight, and host Ashleigh Banfield began by asking Cain his thoughts on whether conservatives are misguidedly capitalizing on the situation.
His response, however, was more about how society feeds off effortless outrage:
This is consistent. We do cheap outrage on TV, we do cheap hashtag activism when it comes to the girls with Boko Haram, and this is cheap. She [Monica Lewisnky] has been a cheap punchline for too long. I’m telling you, putting a tweet up with a hashtag on it, you didn’t do your duty today.
“That’s disgusting to say about over 200 girls — what do you expect the First Lady to do?” Lemon pushed back.
Cain later responded that he was not specifically targeting Obama, but that he was broadly speaking about society’s belief that simply putting a hashtag up on Twitter will help save the kidnapped girls in Nigeria.
It descended from there: Lots of crosstalk, hand gestures, and Lemon accusing Cain of hypocritically lambasting other people’s efforts to do social good while not doing much on his own. “What have you done?” Lemon shouted at one point. He also accused Cain of using a “dog whistle” to criticize the First Lady, and told the CNN contributor he knows his game.
The whole thing was incredibly tense, to say the least.
Watch the entire dust-up below, via CNN:
[Image via screengrab]
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